November 19th, 2018
Dr. Carrie Hall
“Why Don’t You Get It?”
What is “sexual harassment”? What is rape? How about catcalling? Do you understand how it feels to go through any of these things? In today’s world we constantly hear about individuals that claim they were victims. Maybe you went through something like it, but you don’t tell people about it. It has become so common that we have responses coming from all around the world.. We often don’t understand how someone feels going through it. Instead, we tend to question and blame the victim. We should be supportive to anyone who has gone through something like sexual harassment, rape, or catcalling. We should not question them or their experience. It’s necessary to understand something very well before questioning it.
Sexual harassment has existed since the beginning of time. From when there were slaves to still existing in present day. African American slaves used to get raped by their owners. There was no legal laws to protect them. It wasn’t brought to attention until recently in many countries while other countries have recognized it while back. However this did not assure that these kinds of acts have stopped or decreased. It has been a worldwide issue for a very long time and it just has been getting worse and worse. The news we see on sexual harassment and rape just getting more depressing and disgusting as time goes by.
Women have finally been speaking out and telling their stories. We only know about it because these allegations are against our government officials or public figures. Not paying attention to these people speaking out can only affects our government systems and having the wrong people in power. If we ignore it, then people think it’s right for something like this to happen. Recently, President Donald Trump has nominated judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Before the nomination, a women contacted the Washington Post with allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh back in high school. Two other women have also accused him of the same. He denied these allegations, but there were many evidence that proves what these women were saying. These women were given the chance to tell the story, but people questioned them,
“Why are you coming out to tell your story now?”
Maybe they did report the problem when it happened but no one paid attention to it because it wasn’t against a powerful person, but now it is.
“Why didn’t you do anything about it when it happened?”
My response to that is,
“Do you really understand what it’s like to go through that?!”
Maybe not! It might be that you never went through it, but it’s not right to ask a question like that? People think these women come out to with “stories” just to get attention and fame.
“Why on Earth would anyone want fame for being raped or sexually harassed?”
It takes so much courage to talk about being sexually harassed or raped in public where the whole world will know about it. These women have explained why they chose to speak out now, people still don’t seem to understand. FBI did go on with an investigation, but there is no result on that. It wasn’t worth it for these women to speak out because they didn’t want to tell the world, and they did not succeed in what they wanted as a response.
What about catcalling? Isn’t that something almost all women go through once in life. Some men do as well nowadays, but it’s not so common with men. It happens all the time with women. When someone says, “Look at that beautiful ass.” How does that feel? It definitely isn’t worse than being touched, but it isn’t something anyone would like. If you know how bad it feels to be catcalled, imagine being sexually harassed or raped. We still forget that and question people who go through it. How can we not understand how it feels? Sometimes I just think to myself that if the person who is harassing you or catcalling you, would understand how you feel than they most likely wouldn’t do it. If people put themselves in the shoes of the victim, they would better understand. Only someone who went through the same or similar understands you. The rest just either don’t understand or don’t care.
“Hey gorgeous, want a ride home?”
“You’re looking so fine today!”
“Can I get your number?”
Unfortunately, I have experienced catcalling so many times in my life till now, I can understand what it’s like to go through something like that. Something like sexual harassment and rape is on another level. It’s out of what I can imagine. People become mentally unstable and unhealthy. Catcalling is so common and it’s not something people talk about. It’s just not considered something that is a big problem because it doesn’t harm anyone, but it can lead to different consequences. It’s always important to do something about it before it’s too late. Everytime someone gets catcalled, they just walk away and ignore it. As soon as it’s over that’s the end of the story. Sometimes when I get catcalled I just want to stop and just talk to that person to understand what they are thinking when they do this. I am so curious to know why they do what they do. I wanna ask them,
“Do you know how it is to be catcalled?”
“What would you do if you were in my place?”
“What do you get from doing this?”
“Why do you do it?”
“Did you ever go through this?”
“Doesn’t it make you feel disrespectful and disgusting to do this?”
When do we question things? When we don’t understand it. When we want to deny it. Don’t question until you fully understand something because then you wouldn’t even need to ask any questions. Asking certain type of questions is like blaming the victim for what happened to them. Being supportive and standing by someone is very helpful and something everyone should do. We can ask questions to a certain extent to help the person not to demotivate them. It’s not easy to go through these things in life and if people question you then it’s even more difficult. Let’s try and understand and support what’s right and whose right!
Gill, Gurvinder. “Catcalling: Women Write in Chalk to Stop Street Harassment.” BBC News, BBC, 2 July 2018, www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-43718034.
Golshan, Tara, and Li Zhou. “Where Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Confirmation Process Stands.” Vox, Vox, 24 Sept. 2018, www.vox.com/2018/9/17/17869368/brett-kavanaugh-confirmation-sexual-assault-what-we-know.
Nolo. “The History of Sexual Harassment Law.” Www.employmentlawfirms.com, Nolo, 16 Sept. 2014,